3 A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
The point of this passage is to remove all obstacles in front of people so that they can see/experience God. In the in the New Testament this passage is used by John the Baptist to prepare the nation of Israel for the coming of Jesus.
Around my hometown they are making a highway that streches only about 17 miles. The old highway was two lanes, but led to the city of the old part of the next town. So, the Highway Department starting preparing the land for the new four lane highway. If you've spent any time on the interstate/highway system (at least where I'm from) it takes a LONG time to get the land ready for a highway. They survey, and survey, and survey the land again. Then they plan, re-plan, and plan. They negoiate with the landowners, homeowners, and figure out exactly where the roads are going to be. After the plan is done, the land mover rigs come in. They grate, flatten, and move earth around until they have a solid road.
Only after all of this does the actual road go down. This is a whole other process. Packing the dirt, paving with the asphalt, both lanes, putting up barrier if needed, painting the lanes, putting up the speed limit signs, and I'm sure a dozen other processes I'm not even aware of.
I wonder, do we put that much work into "making straight paths" for Jesus? Do we take this amount time, effort, money to ensure that people see Jesus and not all of the stuff that gets in the way? Or, do we just clear a walking path that slows people down, or worse, one that no one can use or even knows exists?
Should we not have a spiritual/cultural DOT for everyone of our faith communities? Perhaps a group of people that keep their eyes on the road, so to speak, for those things that get in the way of people seeing Jesus? At the very least, should we not view all of our processes in the same manner? Should we not look at everything we do with "highway tinted glasses"? Isn't this what being relevant to our culture is all about?